When real-estate agents talk about their best selling point, the answer is the same: location, location, location. Transposed to state health experts and their view of the current state of the COVID-19 vaccine, the answer is also given in triplicate: supply, supply, supply.
To accomplish this goal, the state will reallocate thousands of excess dosages of the coronavirus vaccine from long-term care facilities to increase supply after the federal government announced Tuesday that shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine will reflect an additional 5% increase to states in the coming weeks.
New York could receive up to 315,000 doses of the vaccine from the federal government each week for the next three weeks — a 25% increase from about 250,000 the state received each week for most of January. The state will reallocate tens of thousands of leftover vaccines from the federal Long Term Health Care Facility program that helped to immunize residents and staff in nursing homes and adult-care facilities.
Any unused vaccines will be reallocated, giving a distribution program that has been slow out of the gate a needed jolt of vitality. Overallocation, of all things, might be the underlying problem, so the state will transpose doses from the program into the general state allocation. Quantities will be determined by health officials.
If all goes well, the strategy will boost the overall coronavirus vaccine quantity, which remains in critical supply as nearly 10 million eligible New Yorkers vie for 300,000 weekly doses. Officials anticipate tens of thousands of excess dosages left from the long-term health care program patients who declined to be vaccinated. Wisely, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and health officials categorically ruled out using second doses as first doses.
Here is an opportunity for the state to adapt the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to the segments of the population that need it most.